Burning Heart

Posted on April 7, 2010


John recently took a little break from teaching maintenance at Moody to get some more training himself. Here are his reflections.


The Kodiak is an airplane designed by missionary aviators with missions aviation in mind

I have come to believe that a jet engine is a brilliant example of the gospel.

It is possible that I will bore you. You may find that what I have to say is of little interest to you. After all, my topic is that of jet engines. Some of you have already stopped reading. For those that have braved your way through my preamble, I promise that these engines have much to do with the gospel.

A few weeks ago I attended specialized training for the Quest Kodiak, an aircraft recently designed specifically to fulfill the very demanding needs of mission aviation operators. The ideal missionary aircraft must be able to take off and land in short distances; it must be able to carry a lot of fuel, cargo and passengers, and it has to do it cheaply. The Kodiak has been engineered with all this in mind, and since this aircraft is in many ways the future of missionary aviation, it is essential that pilots and mechanics become proficient with this aircraft. Thankfully, Spokane Turbine Center is providing this necessary training!

This Kodiak is currently being used to do relief work in Haiti

We spent a good portion of the training looking at the heart of the aircraft: the engine. We went through it system by system to understand all the pieces that make the engine turn. Lives depend on our comprehension of how the fuel control unit works (among other things), regardless of how interesting it first appears.

John removing the accessory gearbox

Titanium compressor blades spin at 38000 RPM in order to push enough air into the combustion chamber to feed the ignited fuel that has turned into a ring of fire driving a turbine that drives the propeller.

It is that simple.

A controlled inferno that brings life to those in need. It pulls an aircraft through the air carrying the sick and dying. It carries translators and Bibles, men and women who have devoted their lives to the gospel.

Similarly, the gospel is the fire fed by the Spirit that propels us as believers. It drives us desperately toward Christ and we find Him serving the lost, speaking, and being good news to them. And so we are compelled to do the same.

After 3 weeks of class, John and the rest of the “students” are now ready to work on the Kodiak.